For many people, Alfred Hitchcock is seen as the godfather of thriller,
developing proto horror films, which is still used as a base in most .
Hitchcock developed many motifs used in thriller films and created the
narrative for thrillers.
Examples of Hitchcock’s work ;
• North by North West
• Rear Window
The film is about man ‘Jeff’, a photojournalist, who recently broke his leg whilst
shooting for a news article. Due to his accident Jeff has no choice but to stay
in his room until his leg is healed.
Whilst sitting in his room, Jeff decides to observe his neighbours through his
‘rear window’. One night he hears a loud scream and a glass breaking. He
then sees Lars Thowald leaving the apartment.
This is where the mystery begins, as Jeff starts a race to find out if Thorwald
had in fact killed his neighbour.
Rear window uses a lot of POV and shows the audience voyeurism and
scopophilia as Jeff uses his camera to spy on his neighbour.
Rear window uses the POV shot excessively. This shot allows the audience to
see what is happening through the eyes of the character. The POV shot was
developed by Alfred Hitchcock, which he used to convey mystery and build
an atmosphere of unknown, which makes thriller movies very suspenseful. The
POV shot also make the audience feel as if they are in power.
In regards to Rear Window, the POV shot objectifies the neighbours and
makes the audience think that the power lies in Jeff. However, as Jeff is
temporally disable, we know that in reality Jeff has a very limited power.
The use of the POV shot in rear window is an example of both scopophilia and
voyeurism, as the audience is able to gain a sense of please by looking at the
neighbours when the neighbours don’t know, which makes the audience feel
A major theme in the film Rear Window is sexual objectification. Sexual
objectification is when someone is objectified by another person through
many different means.
In the Rear Window, the main source of objectivities is from the main
character, Jeff. In a sense he is objectifying all of his neighbours, as he is
spying on them. However, he is especially sexually objectifying the ballet
dancer, as on many occasions he sees her getting changed and was possibly
gaining pleasure from this.